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If used correctly, reddit can bring tons of customers to your online store. But for a reddit newbie, the site can be fairly confusing. It's full of obscure humor, inside jokes, and a guy named The Trololo Man. The learning curve may be a little steep, but trust me, it's worth getting the hang of. Reddit has a huge number of devoted users, and is among the top 100 websites in the US with more than 35 million unique monthly US visitors. So, how can reddit help you drive traffic to your online store? Here are some things to consider: 

What is Reddit?

Basically, reddit is a social news site that encourages people to submit content to news stories, photos, or any other content on the Web. According to their site "reddit is a source for what's new and popular on the web. Users like you provide all of the content and decide, through voting, what's good (by clicking on a little "up" arrow) and what's junk (by clicking a little "down" arrow). Links that receive community approval bubble up towards #1, so the front page is constantly in motion and (hopefully) filled with fresh, interesting links."

Listen Before Talking

Take some time to explore reddit before jumping into the fray and posting links. Simply look around for a week or two to get a feel for the community, the type of content that gets rewarded with karma and increased visibility, and how members of reddit interact with each other. It's important to take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with reddiquette, the list of guidelines that users are asked to abide by. Also, try to find sections of the site (or “subreddits”) that relate to your niche by searching or browsing the list of reddits, and then subscribe to them. This might take a little time, but it will be well worth the effort.

Once you've got the general idea, start to engage with the community by commenting on links that are related to your niche. Be sure to leave thoughtful, insightful comments that add value to the discussion and make sure to comment on at least 10 links per day. This will help you build a connection with the site's users. From there, you have two options on how to attract customers:

1. Advertise the Traditional Way

Reddit provides a straightforward way for you to buy ad space in the sponsored links section on the site. You can control your budget, get instant feedback on your ad through the comments section, and view detailed stats on how the community is engaging with your link. Here's a fun comic that explains how ads on reddit work.

2. Create Something AWESOME!

This is perhaps the most difficult way to extend awareness of your brand on reddit: by posting a link to something so awesome that your fellow redditors have no choice but to upvote and comment on it. It could be a ridiculously entertaining product description, a wildly fun video about an item in your store or a blog post about how to use your products in an interesting way.

For example, if your ecommerce store sells cheese, you might create a post on how to create the perfect wine and cheese party, with a few helpful links to drive traffic to your store. If it's entertaining/educational enough, the reddit community will embrace your content and help other users to find it.

At the end of the day, it's most important to be smart, be creative, be friendly, and reddit will help you reap the rewards. 

***Update***

Since I published this blog, it's gotten a bit of attention on reddit - both positive and negative. I think it's important to cite one redditor's comment:

"We don't like it when companies try to viral market to us - there's a bad track record out there of people trying to game reddit. However, we do like to support earnest small business owners. And cats. Give reddit cats; if possible, with clever, relevant captions. Not too clever, mind you. You don't want to be obvious in your sales pitch."

Someone responded: 

"I see nothing wrong with the advice, create something awesome. If it's awesome reddit will find it on its own." 


If you have an opinion about using reddit to advertise and drive traffic, leave it in the comments.